The Snapdragon 835 SoC could power the rumored Microsoft CloudBook
Microsoft announced an education-centric event set for May 2nd in what could be a response to the growing popularity of inexpensive Google Chromebooks. While the Redmond company has not yet confirmed a Surface CloudBook to be in the works, sources close to MSPoweruser seem absolutely certain that a model exists with an announcement to follow soon. If true, such a device will likely cost a mere fraction of dedicated Windows laptops in order to better compete with Chromebooks.
One way of cutting costs is to utilize an ARM processor instead of the traditional x86/x64 as seen on nearly every Windows PC and tablet. Cooling requirements would be subsequently reduced as well to shave off additional weight for an even cheaper final price. The Snapdragon 835 is the most obvious candidate as it should be more widely available during the second half of 2017 and was revealed back in February to be key to powering always-connected "Cellular PCs". These Windows CloudBooks are expected to be limited to running only applications from the Windows Store or Universal Windows Platform (UWP). However, users would also be able to upgrade the CloudBook to a full Windows system for an additional cost if desired.
ARM-based Windows machines have yet to make a big splash in the market. Windows RT, for example, received minimal lasting support from both developers and Microsoft alike. The new partnership between Qualcomm and Microsoft aims to solve this issue by running an x86 processor emulator to support any Win32 application.